Whew! I’m glad that’s over. Ever have one of those weeks? My last week was jam packed with inn guests, meetings and special events. I mean jam packed!! (more…)
Posted in authors, Baer House Inn, Birthdays, blogging, camera, costumes, diamond ring, directing, drinks, engagement ring, Family, Fiction, food, Free book, friends, grammar, humor, Jansen Schmidt, love, romance, short story, theater, theatre, Vicksburg, words, writers, writing, tagged antique medical tools, Army Corp of Engineers, book review, book signing, Civil War, Civil War Round Table, Climbing Jacob's Ladder, David Harris, Detectives Comedy Dinner Theater, Dixie Surgeon, ERDC, Free book, Kindle, Lee Brenner, medical tools, music video, pilgrimage, reading, Shannon Bagley, tour homes, Vicksburg Pilgrimage on February 27, 2017| 10 Comments »
Posted in anthology, authors, awards, beach, blogging, Family, Fiction, Free book, friends, humor, Jansen Schmidt, Paranormal, resolutions, romance, short story, social media, success, writers, writing, tagged authors, blog comments, book reviews, books, bookstore, e-readers, Free book, gifts, GoodReads, helping authors, Kindle, masterpieces, read books, reading, shop window, writing, writing process on February 20, 2017| 16 Comments »
Lots of people think authors live a glamorous life; sitting in a beach chair, toes in the sand, large floppy hat, cool beverage with little umbrella in the glass with a laptop or tablet on their lap, just tap, tap, tapping away on the keys until – BAM – 90,000 words later, a best-selling masterpiece appears. The next day someone slaps a gorgeous glossy cover on it and plasters it all over the Barnes & Noble front window.
Then, after several hours of tap, tap, tapping, said author dons oversized dark glasses and some sparkly flip flop sandals, gets into their luxury sports car and dashes off to some posh restaurant for lunch with their editor, agent, and some movie producer from Hollywood to discuss the details of turning your latest masterpiece into a Hollywood blockbuster.
Spoiler alert – that NEVER happens. Oh sure, JK Rowling probably does that NOW, but not when she first started. Steven King is a household name and James Patterson’s name gets tossed around a lot on movie sets and such, but seriously, that didn’t happen overnight.
So, how did it happen? I’ll tell you – I have no idea. Believe me, I wish I did. I wish I knew what secret, besides hard work and perseverance would shoot me straight up that ladder to the beach chair in the sun because God knows I would love love to dig my toesies into some white sand right about now. Not to mention that little umbrella drink.
Here’s what I do know, those people spent many, many long days and sleepless nights fussing over the right words, the parts they deleted and maybe shouldn’t have, the opening scenes that should work but for some reason don’t, a reviewers harsh comment, hours of endless re-writing.
In other words, they worked hard and they didn’t quit. They didn’t let disappointment ruin their vision.
And, despite how it seems to authors most days, they didn’t reach a certain level of fame alone. What? You’re saying others helped along the way? Absolutely. A lot of people probably helped and didn’t even know they helped. Strangers can help strangers. Readers can help writers. Here’s how:
Buy books, read books, talk about awesome books.
A great way to take it up a notch, is to leave a review. It’s easy, it’s free, it doesn’t take that long, and it goes a long way in helping authors’ careers. Here’s a few places where you can leave a review: https://www.goodreads.com/; https://www.amazon.com/; or http://allreaders.com/.
Go to book signings if you can and BUY THE BOOK, even if you gift it to someone else.
Spread the word on social media. A “like,” a “share,” a comment, helps boost that author’s visibility. It seems trivial, but like election time, every vote matters. (Please don’t make this political people. God knows we don’t want to go there again.)
Gift a book. A great way to help authors is to buy books for someone else. Especially in this day and age of electronic gadgets, almost everyone has an e-reader of some fashion. If not, you can download a free app to most smart phones. Heck, you can read books on your home computer. What better gift for a person who has everything or no longer wishes to “collect things?” Again, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. Some e-books are less than a dollar. Gifting an e-book is super easy through Amazon or other on-line e-book retailers. All you need is the recipient’s e-mail address. What a lovely surprise for the recipient to open their e-mail and discover a gift! And it won’t clutter up a closet or shelf.
Here’s how I’m going to help some authors this week: Every person who posts a comment on this blog between now and Friday, February 24th, will be gifted an e-book of my choice. Simply leave a comment and mention your favorite genre so I can choose an appropriate book for you from one of my favorite starving authors. Some of you I can wager a pretty good guess about genre, but others not so much. If I don’t already have your e-mail address, send me an e-mail at email@example.com so I can make sure your e-book arrives. (Caveat: I will only be gifting from Amazon so you’ll have to have a Kindle in order to participate. Sorry to those who prefer other e-reader methods.)
You in turn can help the author of the book I gifted to you by posting a review and I strongly encourage you to do so. I’m acting on good faith here that you will leave a review. If you do not wish to write a review and post it on any or all of the sites I listed above, please let me know if the comments. (Caveat: If you absolutely hate the book I gift you, please do NOT leave a bad review. An honest review yes, but not a scathing one.) Remember, the purpose of this week’s blog is to help each other out. I’m helping readers, you’re helping writers.
That’s it. Easy peasy. You can pass the word to your friends if they want a free book all they have to do is leave a comment and their e-mail address. I’ll do the rest.
So, thanks in advance to all who post a comment and enjoy your books!
How do you help starving authors? Do you routinely leave reviews? Do you attend book signings? Do you have an e-reader?
Word of Day: Acroter
Fun fact about me: I have 3 e-readers but I prefer paper books.
Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2017. Photos courtesy Google Images.
Posted in authors, Baer House Inn, blogging, Family, friends, Jansen Schmidt, short story, writing, tagged ancestry, Baer family, cemeteries, cemetery, graves, graveyard, heatstones, Jewish, Jewish cemetery, Leona Baer, markers, monuments, muddy shoes, shoe, shoes, statues, Temple Anshe, Temple Anshe Chesed Cemetery, tombstones, Vicksburg on January 30, 2017| 14 Comments »
Posted in authors, blogging, costumes, Family, Fiction, friends, humor, Jansen Schmidt, redneck, short story, vacation, words, writers, writing, tagged Alfred Hitchcock, beard, blood vessels, Buzz Aldrich, Cousin It, Eiffel Tower, Giethoorn, kangaroos, lunar walk, Muppets, nonsense, Psycho, random, reindeer, San Francisco, trivia, ventriloquist, WWII trivia on November 7, 2016| 7 Comments »
So, tomorrow’s the big day; America’s getting a new Commander in Chief. I don’t know about you, but I for one am terrified to see the results. Either way, I’m going to be holding by breath for the next four years.
But, enough about that. Let’s let that fracas happen tomorrow shall we? Today, let’s have some wacky fun. I’ve already told y’all how much I like trivia, so here are some more totally random oddball facts for you to do with what you see fit. Feel free to laugh, scratch your head, research, whatever.
Everyone has a unique tongue print, just like fingerprints.
Most Muppets are left-handed. (Because more Muppeteers are right-handed, so they operate the head with their favored hand.)
Female kangaroos have three vaginas.
During World War II, the crew of the British submarine HMS Trident kept a fully grown reindeer called Pollyanna aboard their vessel for six weeks. (It was a gift from the Russian government.)
The first man to urinate on the moon was Buzz Aldrin, shortly after stepping onto the lunar surface. (So he was holding it all that time and needed to relieve himself? Seriously? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure peeing isn’t what I’d have been doing if I stepped onto the moon’s surface. I mean no gravity. Think about that. Where’d it all go? On to his space suit? But hey, whatever.)
In 1567, the man said to have the longest beard in the world died after he tripped over it while running away from a fire. (I can’t make this stuff up.)
In 1993, San Francisco held a referendum over whether a police officer called Bob Geary was allowed to patrol while carrying a ventriloquist’s dummy called Brendan O’Smarty. (He was by the way, in case you’re wondering.)
The Dutch village of Giethoorn has no roads; its buildings are connected entirely by canals and footbridges. (And don’t you just want to go there now after seeing these pictures?)
The first American film to show a toilet being flushed on screen was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
The top of the Eiffel Tower leans away from the sun, as the metal facing the sun heats up and expands. It can move as much as seven inches.
Lt. Col. “Mad” Jack Churchill was the only British soldier in WWII known to have killed an enemy soldier with a longbow. “Mad Jack” insisted on going into battle armed with both a medieval bow and a claymore sword. (God bless “Mad Jack.” I wonder if he also wore a kilt?)
There are around 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. If you took them all out and laid them end to end, they’d stretch around the world more than twice. (But, seriously, don’t do that.)
So there you have it. A whole bunch of useless knowledge to clutter up your brains. I know, silly, but, I took your mind of the political circus for a few minutes anyway, huh?
What crazy thoughts do you want to share? Any random weirdness happening in your world? Who wants to go with me to Giethoorn? Have kayak will travel.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next week – here’s to random weirdness.
Word of the day: Lytta
Fun fact about me: I fed a reindeer lettuce when I was in Alaska.
Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.
Posted in authors, Autumn, Baer House Inn, blogging, cement walls, Family, Fiction, friends, humor, Jansen Schmidt, Paranormal, short story, Vicksburg, window coverings, writing, tagged antique furniture, Chinese antiques, eye glasses, furniture, ghosts, glasses, Gone With the Wind, haunted house, old houses, paranormal investigations on October 31, 2016| 11 Comments »
When we first bought the Baer-Williams House, the previous owner told us some fantastic tales about “ghostly happenings,” that allegedly occurred in the home. Keep in mind, I’m a skeptic so I simply smiled and silently said, “Okay.”
The previous owner, bought the house in 2005, after his home in New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. He’d always loved old houses and always wanted to run a bed & breakfast. (more…)
Posted in authors, Autumn, Baer House Inn, blogging, camera, cement walls, Family, Fiction, friends, humor, Jansen Schmidt, love, short story, Vicksburg, writing, tagged abandoned house, back yard, bulldozer, condemned house, demolish house, family, historic Vicksburg, history, house demolition, houses, memories, Mississippi, old houses, Victorian homes, Victorian houses on October 24, 2016| 6 Comments »
Posted in authors, Baer House Inn, blogging, Family, friends, humor, Jansen Schmidt, Paranormal, resolutions, short story, words, writing, tagged broken glass, broken light, chandelier, crash, electrician, ghost, ghost story, ghosts, haunted house, Haunted Vicksburg, home improvement, unexplained phenomenons, weird on October 3, 2016| 12 Comments »
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? I’m not into the creepy, demonic, blood and guts ghost stories where people get hurt, but I do enjoy a good chilling tale now and then.
The Baer House Inn is one of the houses on the Haunted Vicksburg Tour. The leader of these tours brings people inside and tells them a tale of intrigue that may or may not have happened here.
Now, I have never experienced any of the strange happenings that are talked about on the tour, however, something rather ghostly did happen here. Something unexplainable and very real.
Not too long after my husband and I bought the inn, we started remodeling and redecorating. One of our projects involved relocating some chandeliers. Five to be exact. We hired an electrician and early one morning, they went to work, taking down lights and rehanging them in their new spots. About an hour after they got started, my husband and I were in the hallway talking about something. We heard a crash that sounded like a thousand expensive crystals shattering into a bazillion pieces. Followed by dead silence.
We looked at each other with wide eyes, our mouths yawning into perfect O’s. I muttered a hushed curse. Obviously, the guys working upstairs had dropped one of our super expensive chandeliers. We whispered amongst ourselves about how to handle the situation. Should we confront them or let them come to us? We waited with bated breath for someone to slink downstairs and apologize profusely for damaging our property. Nobody came downstairs.
“They must be texting their boss,” I said. “Find out how to tell us that they’d broken one of our lights.”
We waited. And waited some more. We decided to give them ten more minutes. After five, I couldn’t stand it any more. I crept upstairs, being extra careful not to step in any glass fragments I was sure littered the floor. Nothing. No mess. No sound. Two guys were up on a ladder in one of the rooms attaching a chandelier to the ceiling.
“How’s it going?” I asked.
“Great. We’re almost done.”
Almost done? That’s it? They aren’t even going to mention the broken $10,000 light fixture?
I turned to face my husband and mouthed, “They’re lying.”
I proceeded to march my little self into every single room upstairs, checking for lights, damage, broken glass, a broom, trash bag, anything evidencing the crash we heard downstairs.
Nothing. NOTHING. Every light exactly where it was supposed to be. Say what?
I went back into the room with the men on the ladder.
“Hey,” says I. “Did you guys hear a crash a few minutes ago. Like something big, and crystal, and expensive, falling and breaking?”
“We didn’t hear anything.”
Now, my husband and I both heard the crash. We both knew immediately what it was. And yet . . . nothing broken. And that my friends, is the mysterious case of the shattered chandelier.
Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Ever experience something you couldn’t explain? What do you think we heard?
Word of the day: Gagaku
Fun fact about me: I don’t really believe in ghosts. And yet . . .
Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images and P. Rickrode.
Posted in authors, blogging, Family, Fiction, friends, goals, humor, Jansen Schmidt, resolutions, romance, short story, success, words, writers, writing, tagged #amwriting, cheer leader, demon, difficult road, disappointment, discouragement, edit manuscript, editing, edits, ferris wheel, good enough, keep going, manuscript, Mississippi writers, quitting, romance writers, support system, SVR, sympathy, tired, WIP, writing groups, writing life on September 12, 2016| 15 Comments »
I know, I know, being your own cheerleader is hard. That’s why we have friends and support groups and such. But, sometimes, only YOU can talk yourself off the ledge.
Last week I ventured down a path I rarely travel and there’s a reason for that; it’s the road of disappointment and discouragement. Usually I keep the gate shut on that life exit, but sometimes the wind blows it open and that little bastard demon living inside me wants to go exploring. Damn that little demon! (more…)
Posted in anthology, authors, blogging, Family, Fiction, friends, grammar, humor, Jansen Schmidt, resolutions, romance, short story, success, words, writers, writing, tagged attention, backstory, characters, fascinating words, first chapters, firsts, firsts and lasts, hooking readers, keep reading, lasts, reader attention, readers, turning pages, word of the day, writers, writing hooks on August 15, 2016| 11 Comments »
As a writer, it’s important to know where to start your story. “You start at the beginning,” is the obvious answer, but as all writers know, it’s not that simple. You see, stories always “start” way before the real story starts. Characters have lives before you meet them on the page. (more…)
Posted in authors, blogging, Family, Fiction, food, friends, humor, Jansen Schmidt, love, Mythology, resolutions, short story, words, writers, writing, tagged alcohol, bury head in sand, crazy facts, dead people, elbow, elephants, facts, jousting, ostriches, planet Earth, planets, rhythm, Rome, sand, scorpion, squirrel, suicide, weird facts on August 8, 2016| 15 Comments »
Today’s blog is full of silliness. The following statements are proven facts that very few people know. Until today. Here at the Edge of Eternity, I aim to educate in a freakishly fun way.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:
Honey does not spoil. That’s right. Evidently you can eat 3,000 year old honey and suffer no painful consequences.